I will be the first to admit that when I think about Christmas shopping for my boys, I never think of checking out The Children’s Museum Store at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This is a pretty stupid move on my part, because each year they bring in real, live kids to test out their toys and put together a list of favorites. This year, they asked if my munchkins would provide a little additional kid-testing, and we were more than happy to oblige. Here’s what we got to try out:

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Store

When the toys arrived, my oldest immediately claimed the Mini Ogodisk Set as his.  These two disks are like mini-trampolines you can use to bounce a ball back and forth. It’s a much more user-friendly version of those balls and mitts that are covered in velcro and never quite work like you want them to. The boys have had a lot of fun hitting the ball back and forth to each other, or playing on their own to see how many times they can hit the ball up without dropping it.

Mini Ogodisk

 

Don’t tell them, but I like playing this one as much as they do. We’ve enjoyed it indoors and outside! So far, no one has beat my record of 12 bounces in a row.

Mini Ogosport Disc

The youngest was quick to grab the Playmobil Dragons Playset. He loves heroes, make-believe, and creating elaborate scenarios with his toys, so this was basically his dream come true. I liked this set because it was high quality, with lots of neat little details that my son and I both appreciated. It was also fun to see their imaginations at work, as they created a story about “a good guy, bad guy, a dragon, and a treasure.” A favorite feature of this set is that it folds up into a box, and locks with its own special key.

Playmobil Dragons

Pro tip: assemble this one before giving it to the kids if you don’t want to hear, “Is it ready yet?” a thousand times. It was surprisingly easy to put together, even with my less-than-patient audience. My youngest is going through a “no photographs” phase, so I don’t have any good action shots, but believe me when I say this one gets played with a LOT, and the accompanying knights get toted all over the house to go on adventures.

Our final toy would make a great stocking stuffer. The Hoberman Switch Pitch Ball changes surfaces each time you throw it. The boys are still trying to figure out how it works; their leading theory right now is, “magic.”

Hoberman Switch Pitch Ball

Here it is in action. Tossing this ball around is surprisingly relaxing.

You can find all of these toys, and more kid-tested, kid-approved goodies at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Store. The best part? If you’re a museum member, you get 15% off of your purchase — all the time! One of the MANY reasons to invest in a membership for your family.

If you can’t make it to TCM without your kiddos, you can also shop online. When you head to the museum for Jolly Days, I recommend stopping by the store and letting your kids browse — The Children’s Museum Store provides lots of hands-on opportunities to try out toys, so it’s a great way to see what your tykes are into.

What are you putting under the tree this holiday season?

The Children’s Museum Store was kind enough to provide these toys for us to test. All opinions are our own.